The Kennel Club has approved a new health testing programme for
Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response (BAER) testing for deafness in
all pedigree dog breeds which have a known problem with congenital
In January 2015, the Kennel Club introduced an official BAER
testing programme to record results for Dalmatians. After
running successfully for almost a year, and after receiving over
100 results, the programme has now been extended to all
Owners of any pedigree breed may now forward BAER results directly
to the Kennel Club for recording on their dog's registration
record, making them available for publication via the Kennel Club's
Health Test Results Finder. There are a number of specialist
centres in the UK which offer BAER screening, and each dog screened
is issued with a veterinary certificate stating the dog's hearing
status as: normal, unilateral hearing loss or bilateral hearing
Aimee Llewellyn, Head of Health and Research at the Kennel Club
said: "It is hoped that centralising the data obtained through BAER
testing will provide a clearer picture of the hearing status of
breeds which have a higher risk of inherited deafness.
"The results of BAER testing could also be used to help develop
tools to enable breeders to make more informed breeding decisions
in the future. One of the Kennel Club's priorities is to the
ensure that breeders are as well-equipped as possible to make
responsible, informed choices to enable them to improve and
maintain breed health, and we hope that expanding the BAER testing
programme to all breeds will enable them to do this in the
Congenital deafness (deafness at birth) is usually inherited, but
its mode of inheritance is not currently completely
understood. Inherited deafness is believed to be influenced
by more than one gene and there may be additional breed-specific
risk factors. Breeds which may be more at risk of deafness
include those that carry the extreme piebald gene (demonstrated by
a predominantly white coat) or genes associated with merle coat
colour (demonstrated by mottle patches of colour in a solid or
piebald coat, blue or odd-coloured eyes), and also possible effects
of skin pigment.
Owners of BAER tested dogs, from all Kennel Club recognised
breeds, are encouraged to submit copies of certificates directly to
the Kennel Club. To aid in the processing of results, owners
can ask veterinary professionals from testing centres to complete
and stamp a Kennel Club BAER Test Report Form during testing. The
BAER Test Report Form can be downloaded and printed from www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/727112/baer_test_report.pdf
and taken along to the testing centre. Forms and certificates
can by submitted by post, or email, but any e-mails must contain
clear and legible scans.
The programme criteria and process are as follows:
- For publication, all participating dogs will need to be Kennel
Club registered and microchipped (prior to screening).
- The microchip of individual dogs will be scanned prior to
screening to verify that the correct dog is being screened.
- The actual screening protocol will be determined by the
individual screening centre which will issue its usual veterinary
certificate for the tested dog.
- BAER test certificates and BAER Test Report Forms can be sent
to Health & Breeder Services, The Kennel Club, Clarges
Street, Piccadilly, London, W1J 8AB or scanned and emailed
For further information on BAER testing, please visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/579531/baer_test_programme.pdf.